Causative Agent

Chlamydia trachomatis is a spherical, obligate intracellular bacterium. Inclusion bodies containing a glycogen-like material form at the site of bacterial replication in the cytoplasm of host cells. These inclusions stain deeply with iodine and can provide a rapid way of identifying C. trachomatis infections. There are a number of different antigenic types of C. trachomatis, and different types may cause different diseases. Approximately eight types are responsible for most C. trachomatis sexually transmitted disease. Three other types cause lymphogranuloma venereum, a rare STD in the United States, in which lymph nodes in the groin swell up and drain pus; after years, gross swelling of the genitalia can occur. Four other types cause the chronic eye disease trachoma, an important preventable cause of blindness worldwide. ■ glycogen, p. 31

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